"In the bigger picture, music is just a means for us to communicate about
what it is to be a human being and an opportunity to be an inspiration to others."
"This is my gift, the craft I have honed all my life, and the only thing I
can do is to keep doing it. Keep putting it out there. It's my contribution to
"I have a passion to express myself that comes from the core of my being. I
love performing for audiences, and I'm there to touch their lives. I really
believe I have the power to make a better world through my music."
"I don't avoid the novelty of being a female sax player. I don't fight it.
It works for me. The novelty is the icing on the cake that draws people's
attention to me. I'm fine with that, because once they get there I have some
substance. I can play. So it's a great marketing device."
"The most important thing in performing is finding the climax to a solo, to a
song, to a set. You can play forever, but it might not get you anywhere. So
you have to find that climax. I learned how to do that by listening to
Barbra Streisand. She puts a lot of soul into her songs. She has a great concept
- she treats each song as if it were a three-act play. That's what I try to
"There's a difference between artists and musicians. To an artist the
important thing is to be aware of your audience. An artist wants to say something,
make an impact on the world. Inspiring people is what it's all about."
"It's not enough to be an artist. Now you have to be a writer and producer, too.
You have got to have your business together."
"When I approach composing, I think about what the mood is for a piece. I
think of it visually, like what am I wanting people to see and experience. But
don't ask me to pick a favorite song or style. It's like choosing a favorite
child...they each have a different space in my emotions."
"When I perform, it's not to show people how great of a player I am or how
many licks I know. I'm there for my audience. I'm there to inspire them, to
move them, to have them be 'in love' with the music or with me or with the
person they're with. I just want them to feel that in-loveness, and I think that's
what comes out of me when I play."
"I'm drawn to the pop groove and nice melodies of contemporary jazz. The
style of music I'm doing is from my heart - I'm not selling out. I am able to
attract people to jazz who don't ordinarily listen to it, and I appreciate
being able to turn people's ears to jazz."
"And for other women looking for a career as an instrumentalist, she offers
this advice: 'It's the old saying that a woman must be three times better to
be thought of as half as good, and there's still some of that out there. So if
we expect to be accepted as equals and not face the prejudices, we have to
make sure our playing ability is up to the top level. That's the bottom line."